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Letters from Crystal Meth Users

  • Jan

    All In The Family

    My name is Kat. I've sat down to write this so many times. Yet every time I've tried to write my story, I realize the beginning is somewhere much earlier in time than I thought. Initially, I thought it started last April. My husband of 10 years was in a chemical explosion. He concocted a really creative story about what happened (a story he sticks with even today), but when I investigated, I found a meth lab at his warehouse. He almost died. He was on life support for about a week, and eventually recovered (at least physically.) Toxicology reports found meth in his system. Given his extended hospital stay, he went through all the classic withdrawal symptoms. In fact, he was placed on 24 hour suicide watch. Mental health professionals visited him and he acknowledged using meth, but insisted that he didn't have a problem so there was no follow-up.

    I knew he was using. But that was the first time I had to face the reality that he had a major problem. However, almost dying wasn't enough to make him face that reality. After he got home from the hospital, he said all the right things about wanting to change his life. However, he said that many people owed him money. He promised he'd get away from the meth crowd as soon as he collected. He insisted that he had to keep selling the stuff in order to keep in contact with the folks that could help him collect the money.

    Well things got worse. In September, he said he was going to stay at his warehouse because some of his "friends" were supposed to bring a guy by that owed him money. While he was waiting, the paranoia from using meth took over. He was convinced that someone was breaking into our car, so he armed himself with two guns, ordered five guys to get on the ground, and when one of them moved, he shot him. Thank God the injury was not life threatening. He was arrested, and is now waiting to be tried with about 15 felony counts. The day he came home from jail, I caught him trying to smoke meth.

    Here's the thing you need to understand about my husband. He's 46 years old, and up until this incident, he's never been arrested or in any sort of trouble. He used to be one of the most responsible, caring, and honest family man around. Yet now even though from time to time he will admit he needs help to quit using, he refuses treatment.

    I started going to counseling myself. It's actually helped me to help him, and when I tell him about the counseling sessions, he really does listen. At one point, he really tried to quit on his own. I believe he was clean for about 3 or 4 weeks. The first week he really crashed. He went to bed on Tuesday and didn't get up again until Sunday. Then, he spent about 2 weeks being incredibly moody. Sometime shortly after that, I think he used again though he swears he didn't.

    While I initially thought this story started with the explosion in April, through counseling, I was forced to admit that it really began about 8 years ago. I was forced to admit that I was addicted to coke and meth too. Eight years ago, my husband and I both started using "recreationally." He admits that he ended up using more than me, but I had to admit that I was using regularly too. I'd use for 2 weeks, and then quit for 2 weeks. This went on for years until the explosion. That incident scared me enough that I haven't used and haven't even experienced cravings. However, there were times before the explosion that I knew I should quit, but the cravings would get me.

    It's funny how when I look back, I realize that I knew I had a problem, and I knew my husband was in over his head. But somehow I chose to look the other way; pretend I didn't see. In many ways, I feel responsible for the mess my husband is in. And I feel so afraid that he'll never really be ready to quit using. I want to save him, but I know I can't. Thanks for letting me share.


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